A teacher shared this video with me this morning. I honestly don’t know very much about the program, but I was intrigued by the story of a teacher using a shared interest, hip-hop, to reach a group of students who were likely dismissed as a lost causes. Growing up in rural Kansas, more than a few years ago, I can’t say I have a great understanding of hip-hop culture, but I do know how important it is to connect our teaching to what is relevant and intriguing to our students. I also know that it is far to easy to be dismissive of the passions of our students–chalking them up as childlike pursuits.
There is not a “one size fits all” solution to educational challenges. We have to be open to alternatives that will engage students in pursuit of their passions and challenge them to apply their talents and interests to solve real-world problems. We must allow kids to pursue their dreams.